How to Rent an E-Mountain Bike on Vis Island, Croatia

Why Rent an E-Mountain Bike?

Your options for exploring Vis Island are many. The most popular are on foot, mountain bike, motorbike, car rental, and even a guided tour. But there is another option… an electric mountain bike.

Having already been here in Vis Town for 3 weeks I have already explored many of the sites within an hours walk and was ready to move farther afield. A car rental can be had for as little as 350Kn ($52USD at current exchange rates) for 6 hours (minimum rental time), but I was looking for something closer to a human pace. We are exploring a beautiful island… what’s the point in rushing it, right?

I ruled out the guided tours because I was looking for something more affordable and I really like to go at my own pace… slow… not herded around in a pack (no judgment, that’s just me).

I quickly ruled out the motorbike (available starting at 150Kn ($23USD) for a minimum 3-hour rental) because many of the beaches around the island are only accessible via gravel roads and footpaths. Rental companies do not want you taking the motorbikes off paved roads.

I ruled out the mountain bike (available starting at just 20Kn ($3USD) for a minimum 1-hour rental) because, well, despite being a [former] amateur long-distance cycling enthusiast who used to ride daily and do 80-mile rides on the weekend, I have not ridden lately. Ok, I admit it. I am not in peak riding form! Vis Island is quite hilly. You will rarely find yourself on flat roads for very long.

Some of those incredible views afforded you after climbing said hills above Vis Town, Croatia…

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So, an electric mountain bike seemed the optimal solution. I could go where I want (even gravel roads, if necessary), I can stay cost-conscious, and I would have the assistance of a powerful electric motor to help my hiking-weary legs up the long and/or steep hills.

Where to Rent an E-Mountain Bike

There are many places to rent mountain bikes and motorbikes throughout Vis Town. A short walk along the Riva waterfront and you’ll run into half a dozen or more shops hawking their wheels, especially during peak season in the summer.

I was given a personal recommendation for both Paiz Travel and Navigator Travel Agency which both have offices directly across the street as you get off the ferry in Vis Town. Unfortunately, Navigator was not open. It is still low season here on the island. And Paiz rents mountain bikes but not e-mountain bikes.

I rented from Ionis Tourist Agency. They do not have their own website, but they are on Facebook and partner with Vis Special for many products and services. They are near the large central “town square” to your left as you exit the ferry. They are popular also for the mountain bike and motorbike rentals. All of these agencies, as well, offer a plethora of guided tours.

Rental & Bike Details

Ionis’ e-Mountain Bike is a Trek Powerfly 5 2018 model in Viper Red. This bike rents normally for 230Kn ($35USD) for 12 hours, but I negotiated for 200Kn.

This e-bike has an LED display mounted on the left handlebar for operating the electric motor. A battery indicator on the LED display shows how much battery power you have remaining… just like on your iPhone. And two large buttons (+ and -) next to the display are all that is needed to adjust the electric assistance, if needed. The electric motor offers 5 modes which you can toggle through using the + and – buttons: (1) Off, (2) Eco (3) Tour, (4) eMTB, and (5) Turbo. Each mode gives you more power but uses more energy. You really don’t need to fuss with all of this though. Find the mode that suits your riding style and then pedal, shift, steer and brake just like any other road or mountain bike. This Trek Powerfly 5 uses Shimano equipment for silky smooth shifting.

I filled out a short form with my name, drivers license number, home address, phone number and where I was staying, donned a riding helmet (use protection, people!) and was off in about 10 mins. Easy, peasy!

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So, to review…

(1) Come to Vis to incredible natural beauty including stunning coves, crystal clear water, gorgeous coastlines, beautiful beaches, and green, pastoral valleys full of vineyards and olive groves.

(2) Rent an Electric Mountain Bike for the best way to get around Vis Island and see that natural beauty at your own pace.

In a coming post, I will show you some of the amazing places I went on that zippy Trek e-Mountain Bike. You won’t want to miss these photos, trust me!

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Are you coming to Croatia in 2019? If you have been or are planning a trip, I’d love to hear from you. Happy to answer questions.

Live Mindfully. Travel Slow.

— Lane

 

2 Replies to “How to Rent an E-Mountain Bike on Vis Island, Croatia”

    1. Thanks for reading, Susanne! I rode basically the eastern half of the island with a few stops including lunch in about 6 hours. For scale of difficulty, I would say Intermediate. Vis island is quite hilly. To keep the motor engaged, you need to be pedaling. So, climbing a hill, the motor provides good power, but you still need to be strong enough to keep pedaling. Also, despite the fact that there is usually a shoulder next to the roads to ride on, you need to be comfortable sharing the road with cars. I will say that on Vis, compared to what I am used to in the U.S., drivers are usually respectful of bicycle riders. Something else to be aware of… outside of the two main towns (Vis and Komiza) you will find precious few restaurants and markets where you can get food or drink, so pack accordingly. Good luck!

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